Saturday, February 24, 2018

Risk-taking Mission & Service

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“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” –Jesus (Matthew 25:40)

Risk-Taking Mission and Service is the outward expression of our faith. We, as a vibrant, fruitful, and growing congregation commit ourselves to Risk-Taking Mission and Service.  Risk-Taking Mission and Service includes the projects, the efforts, and the work we do to make a positive difference in the lives of others for the purpose of Christ, whether or not they will ever become a part of the community of faith. By offering the Radical Hospitality of Christ, church members bring others into contact with the church, and through Passionate Worship, God transforms us. We grow in our faith and love through Intentional Faith Development, and God’s process of forming disciples continues as we practice Christ’s compassion with our neighbors, community, and the world through Risk-Taking Mission and Service.

Our faith and Risk-Taking Mission and Service are intrinsically bound together. “Faith without works is dead”, James 2:17. As we serve, we grow in our faith; and as we grow in our faith, we learn to serve. Belief is like breathing in; serving is like breathing out. Moving from Mission and Service to Risk-Taking Mission and Service involves greater uncertainty, a higher possibility of discomfort, resistance, or sacrifice. Risk-Taking Mission and Service takes us into ministries that push us outside of our comfort zone, stretching beyond the circle of relationships and practices that routinely define our faith commitments. God uses such ministries to expose us to people, situations, and needs we would never ordinarily encounter and that reveal to us spiritual gifts and talents held by others that we would not ordinarily recognize or celebrate.  Risk-Taking Mission and Service sends us from the ‘comfort’ of the shoreline to the ‘uncomfortable’ yet fulfilling deep waters of our faith.

We commit ourselves to Risk-Taking Mission and Service and expect that lives will be transformed by being the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus Christ into the world around us. We will be conduits of God’s grace, mercy and love by putting our faith into action. We will measure the fruitfulness of Risk-Taking Mission and Service by the lives changed rather than how much money was raised or the size of the check sent. We will do mission with others and not ministry for others. We will see that people we serve feel respected and blessed; not dependent or helpless. We will encourage church members and friends of FUMC to move into the deeper waters of Risk-Taking Mission and Service through regular opportunities of varied types of mission and service projects.

We will live out our faith and our call to serve by following the example of Jesus who “came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45) and living out the words of John Wesley, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can.  As long as you can.” Risk-Taking Mission and Service will bring forth transformed lives which will allow us to live out…